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Thai Ridgeback Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

It’s not every day you get to meet a dog from eastern Thailand, but if you do, chances are it might be the Thai Ridgeback.

Fairly new to America…

This fantastic watchdog is alert and ready for an adventure like hunting a wild boar!  And while this might not sound like an ideal pet for some, others have certainly learned just how great a family pet these guys can be.

Which is why…

We wanted to take a moment and discuss the Thai Ridgeback dog breed it a bit greater detail this way if you ever get an opportunity to make one of them your own, you’ll know right away if it’s going to be a good “fit” or not!

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Thai Ridgeback Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Thailand

Original Purpose: Guard Dog/ Hunt rats & vermin

Height: 20 to 25 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 30 to 55 pounds

Lifespan: 10 to 13 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Not “officially” recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC)

Life Span:  12 to 13 years

Origin of the Thai Ridgeback Dog Breed

Eastern Thailand, otherwise known as Isan, is the home of the Thai Ridgeback. This rural area full of rice paddies is where the Thai Ridgeback worked. Killing off rats and rodents was important to protecting the crop, as was watching over the whole field.

And while these guys…

Are by no means new to Thailand, they only made their way to America in 1994, so they’re still relatively new to the west. They were first imported by a man by the name of Jack Sterling. He is also responsible for naming them.

The Thai name…

Is Mah Thai Luncg Arn, “mah” simply being the word for “dog” in Thai. The dogs were first shown in the west at the Cherry Blossom Rare Breed Dog Show in DC.

Characteristics of the Thai Ridgeback

These dogs have pointed ears, and wrinkly foreheads. This dog is a strong looking dog that has slightly loose skin but a smooth coat and short hair. They have cute, almond-shaped eyes not commonly found among dogs. Their eye color can range from brown to blue.

Common Colors include:

Steel grey or silver, black or “blue”. Of course, by blue we don’t mean bright blue or royal blue, but rather a blue grey.

The word “ridgeback” describes…

A “ridge” of hair growing against the direction of the rest. This occurs along the spine, hence the term ridgeback.

Personality of a Thai Ridgeback

Not traditional pets in the US, the Thai Ridgeback existed as a watch and hunting dog. As a result, this guy is pretty active and loves to jump. It’s necessary to train this dog from the time he’s a puppy to make sure he’s socialized. If you wait until later on in a dog’s life for training, it just might not happen the way you’d like. Puppies trained from early on will react well to an even-tempered yet firm owner.

One thing you definitely…

Need to know is that this dog needs adequate exercise. It’s possible for him or her to live in an apartment life so long as he gets to have fun outdoors, once or preferably twice a day (and we don’t mean for a potty break – we mean proper playing). The need for play is due to their high prey drive. Remember, these dogs are inherently used to hunting small prey to help their farmers.

Similar Breeds

This dog is in a class of its own, but owners who might otherwise opt for a German Shepherd could find a friend in a Thai Ridgeback.

Thai Ridgeback Health Concerns

In general, this dog is very healthy and sturdy. However, it’s important to note that Thailand is very hot and as a result, this dog is used to hot & humid climates. That’s not to say he won’t be able to handle a cold winter, but it’s definitely not going to be his ideal. Florida is a great place to keep this puppy healthy!

Dermoid Sinus…

Is rare but still possible. This is something you may have heard associated with other ridgebacks, in particular the Rhodesian Ridgeback. And it can happen for the Thai Ridgeback as well. This is a neural tube defect. If the problem is bad, you might have to opt for surgical treatment.

Dermoid sinus is a genetic defect that can be avoided by breeders. If the defect is detected, the dog should not be bred any more, thus eliminating it from further puppy generations. You can ask your breeder for information and family history beforehand to prevent this. A kennel club can recommend the right breeder.

And while…

This condition may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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